Quantitative Research Critique

Quantitative Research Critique
Quantitative Research Critique

Quantitative Research Critique

To deliver quality care for patients, it is essential for nurses to apply the best current practice.  However, the old adage “all that glitter is not gold” is also applicable in research.  This is because not all nursing research is of high standard, which implies that nurses should not just take research based on the fact that it is being published.  Critiquing of quantitative study follows a systematic approach to appraise the strengths and weakness of the piece of research, with the aim of determining their applicability or credibility to practice.

In this context, this paper will critically analyze this study: – Dobson, R., Whittaker, R., Jiang, Y., Shepherd, M., Maddison, R., Carter, K., Cutfield, R., McNamara, C., Khanolkar, M., and Murphy, R. (2016). Text message-based diabetes self management support (SMS4BG): Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials 17: 179. doi: 10.1186/s13063-016-1305-5

Background of study

 The title is the first thing observed in this article. An appropriate title should be about 10-15 word long.  Too short or long title can be confusing as well as misleading. In this context, the title clearly identifies the purpose of study, which is randomized controlled study on the impact of text message based diabetes support program.

The study’s abstract provides a succinct overview of the study research, including the aim of the study, sample size, study method, findings and conclusion. Reading the abstract, one is able to determine the relevance of the study to the researchers interest, and to whether continue or not continue reading the article (Melnyk and Fineout-Overholt, 2015).

The research problem is well presented in the back ground if the study. The statement in this section broadly informs a reader about the purpose of the study. For instance, the study highlights that the prevalence of diabetes is increasing internationally, and the burden of this disease is reported among the minority groups, especially those from low income household.

The quantitative research critique reports that effective self management strategies should include frequent monitoring of diabetic patient, empowering the patient with healthy behaviors, and appropriate dosages insulin administration in order to enhance improvement in glyceamic control.  In this section, the significance of the issue in nursing is also explored.

The study proposes that use of text message services to deliver health services and vital information is effective in supporting healthy behaviors and appropriate disease management.  The increasing ownership of mobile phones makes it possible to reach populations that would otherwise be difficult to reach (Hinshaw & Basu, 2015).

The research question is thorough and is well elaborated using substantial yet relevant details as well as the explanation process.  The study aims, research question and hypothesis helps the researcher to form a link between stated purpose and research problem. In this study, these concepts are clearly.

The aim of this quantitative research critique is to evaluate the effectiveness of mobile health diabetes in supporting program (SMS4BG) in patients diagnosed with diabetes type1 and type 2. The specific objectives includes a) enhancing self management processes to improve glycosylated  haemoglobin (HbA1c) and b) to assess its ability to improve diabetes management in remote populations (Dobson et al., 2016).

Methods of study

Methodology can be compared to nuts and bolts of a research study.  The study followed the Standards Protocol Items Recommendation for Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) 2013. The study intervention was done based to the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT)-EHEALTH checklist. The research method used in this study is quantitative research method.

There are various research method including experimental, non- experiment and quasi experimental design. In context, the study applied randomized controlled design to determine cause and affect relationship of the study variables. This type of research design is appropriate because it reduces potential sources of bias. This research method is easier to blind mask the participants because the treatment are identified clearly (Melnyk and Fineout-Overholt, 2015).

The sample size used was 1000 participants (500 per arm).  The stratification was done per health district with the urban and remote areas. This sample size was adequate and provided 90% power and 5% significance level to detect changes in 0.5% HbA1c within baseline of 9 months.  Randomization and blinding was done in a ratio of 1:1. The stratification was done according to health district categories i.e. high urban or remote and status of diabetes.

To enhance vigor, the randomization process was done using computer program based on block sizes of 2 or 4. The nature of intervention made it difficult to conceal treatment allocation to participants and the research staff. To improve study outcome validity, the primary patient outcome such as HbA1c, hospital emergency visits and admissions were the objective assessors of the intervention (Dobson et al., 2016).

 The next element is method of data collection. There are many strategies that can be adopted when collecting data in quantitative research including interviews, observational tools and attitude scales. This study used tailor made questionnaires that consisted of closed questions that had fixed answers. The paper outlines the process of data collection in clear and logical processes (Melnyk and Fineout-Overholt, 2015).

The last phase is analysis of data collected, which is often identified as the most daunting tasks. This is because it is associated with complex statistical tests. The study clearly identifies the statistical tests that were undertaken including descriptive and inferential statistics in order to identify the causal and effect relationship between the variables. In this context, the demographics attributes were summarized using descriptive statistics. The study’s continuous variables was summarized using mean, standard deviation, and mean (Dobson et al., 2016).

Results of study

            The discussion of the study findings flow logically and have been associated with literature review. However, the researcher does not indicate if the hypothesis supports the findings or not. The study discussions do not indicate if the findings relate to conceptual framework or not. However, the interpretations as well as the inferences met are clearly associated with study results.  The significance of study findings is stated. The researcher also explores clinical significance and its clinical implication of the study (Polit and Beck, 2006; Jackson et al., 2014).

In this context, the paper explains the protocol for the proposed intervention which is use of SMS4BG trial to explore its impact on diabetes self management program. According to the study findings, this kind of intervention provides tailored support for people with poorly controlled diabetes, especially those living in remote areas. The study develops a protocol that builds on previous evidence on the impact of technology in people with diabetes. The researcher states that the pilot study indicates that the intervention is applicable and is perceived and important in patients diagnosed with diabetes across the country (Dobson et al., 2016).

Ethical considerations

There are four fundamental ethical principles including justice, non-maleficence, autonomy and beneficence.  The principle of autonomy implies that participants have the right to decide whether or not they want to participate in research without any coercion or have fear of what the research is investigating. The Non-maleficence principle implies that the participants are protected from any kind of physical or psychological harm.

Beneficence principle in this context implies that the research should have positive impact to the patient and the society. Justice in case implies that the research should ensure that all participants are treated equally. In addition, moral rules connected with these ethical principles include fidelity, veracity, privacy and confidentiality (Melnyk and Fineout-Overholt, 2015).

To ensure that these ethical considerations are observed is by ensuring that the institutional review boards approve research before it takes place. This is to ensure that the principles and moral rules are adhered to. In this context, the research team sought ethical approval from Health and Disability Ethics Committee (14/STH/162), and that each participant signed an informed consent (Dobson et al., 2016).


The paper concludes by discussing the significance of the study findings. The study makes generalization but indicates that caution should be taken when implementing the recommendations depending on the study purpose and design. The paper does not make any meaningful recommendations for further investigations (Polit and Beck, 2006).


Dobson, R., Whittaker, R., Jiang, Y., Shepherd, M., Maddison, R., Carter, K., Cutfield, R., McNamara, C., Khanolkar, M., and Murphy, R. (2016). Text message-based diabetes self management support  (SMS4BG): Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials 17: 179. doi: 10.1186/s13063-016-1305-5.

Hinshaw, L., & Basu, A. (2015). Technology Use for Problem Solving in Adolescent Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, 17(7), 443–444. http://doi.org/10.1089/dia.2015.0175

Jackson, I. L., Adibe, M. O., Okonta, M. J., & Ukwe, C. V. (2014). Knowledge of self-care among type 2 diabetes patients in two states of Nigeria. Pharmacy Practice, 12(3), 404.

Melnyk, B. M., and Fineout-Overholt, E. (2015). Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing and healthcare; a guidance to practice, 3rd Edition.

Polit, D. and Beck. C. (2006). Essentials of Nursing Care: Methods, Appraisal and Utilization. 6th edn. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia

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